The growth of pollution that crosses national borders represents a significant threat to human health and ecological sustainability. Various international agreements exist between countries to reduce risks to their populations, however there is often a mismatch between national territories of state responsibility and transboundary hazards. All too often, state priorities do not correspond to the priorities of the people affected by pollution, who often have little recourse against major polluters, particularly transnational corporations operating across national boundaries. Drawing on case studies, The New Accountability provides a fresh understanding of democratic accountability for transboundary and global harm and argues that environmental responsibility should be established in open public discussions about harm and risk. Most critically it makes the case that, regardless of nationality, affected parties should be able to demand that polluters and harm producers be held accountable for their actions and if necessary provide reparations.
Michael Mason is Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and author of Environmental Democracy (1999)